Pottermore and the Art of Digital Storytelling
Pottermore is THE destination for all things Harry Potter, it became the main Harry Potter hub by creating a reputation for itself through inclusive and compelling content. Impressively, it is the official digital publisher of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.
When it comes to the art of storytelling, we could all learn something from Pottermore’s digital experience.
To start, keep in mind that as you’re creating your own digital platform, you should commit to a specific position and present it in a way that showcases what makes it valuable and original.
Below are 5 helpful tips, explained through Pottermore examples, to make your site as engaging and successful as possible!
Offer distinctive and exclusive content
Pottermore provides its users with unique and specific content. In addition to being the primary retailer of the enhanced editions of the Harry Potter books, Pottermore also provides its visitors with new content released by J.K. Rowling for free. Additionally, they consistently post accredited articles on all things Harry Potter that delve into specific topics and plot points.
In order to add an extra layer of exclusivity, Pottermore allowed a limited number of people to help finish the site prior to launch. This “early bird” access drove press coverage, ensuring the official launch gained plenty of attention.
Develop a custom experience
Pottermore requests that visitors create an account in order to access certain information. This allows them to learn and save information about each visitor, and create a personalized experience for the user.
To drive signups, the site relies on one of it’s most popular components – quizzes. In order for visitors to discover their Hogwarts house, Patronus, or wand type, they must create an account.
With the information gained through the quizzes, Pottermore creates a user profile that reflects each individual and allows them to learn more about themselves in the context of this wizarding world.
So, keep in mind that gathering information about your users is the key to creating a custom experience. When you learn more about each individual user, you’ll be able to provide them with stories that will resonate with them.
Pro-tip: You can also use less direct means to learn more about your readers through Google Analytics’ suite of tools.
Create a sense of belonging
Make your users feel at home on your site. Pottermore does this by assigning users to respective “houses.” This house, similar to the membership signup, creates a sense of belonging within the site.
To create a sense of belonging among your own community, you need to give your audience a way to identify themselves and participate within the site as a part of the larger whole. It helps to pay special attention to the language you use in your marketing efforts. J.K. Rowling placed heavy emphasis on the reader in her introductory trailer, referring to her fans as “wonderful, diverse, and loyal.” In this same way, digital storytellers need to invite their audiences to enjoy content through a means that lets them know their perspectives and experiences are understood and appreciated.
Pro-tip: Use identifying phrases that help your readers understand that your content is made specifically for them.
Build a world
Pottermore is a website, but what makes it so special and successful is that it makes the user feel like they’re in a different world – specifically, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Building a world within your site goes hand in hand with creating a sense of belonging for your users. Your “world” should be branded to have its own unique identity that attracts like-minded people to become a part of it.
Provide consistent updates and news
Consistently posting keeps your users engaged, and providing them with new content keeps them informed. It also has the added benefit of keeping the brand safe from any rumors or incorrect reporting from other sites.
Pottermore does this through a consistently updated information and news section.
Keeping your users in the loop helps to develop a reputation as a trusted and transparent resource. This will also help you to appear more active and responsive to relevant current events.
So, using the tips and tricks we’ve learned from Pottermore, let’s get started doing digital storytelling the right way.